The widow of late Australian snowboarding champion Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin has announced the birth of their daughter, 16 months after he tragically passed away.
Ellidy Vlug announced the birth of their daughter, Minnie Alex Pullin on Instagram.
“Hello – I have a baby!” she gushed. “And we have been a lil busy and tired.”
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Alex Pullin, a world champion snowboarder who carried the flag for Australia at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics, died in 2020 in a spearfishing accident.
Ms Pullin announced she was pregnant with Pullin’s child in June this year, after undergoing successful posthumous IVF in the months after he died.
Ellidy Vlug’s pregnancy miracle a year after the father’s death
In July this year, Ellidy Vlug shared a series of stunning images on Instagram, revealing her growing baby bump. She explained that the couple had been trying for a baby for some time, when Alex drowned in July 2020, after a suspected shallow water blackout in Queensland.
“Bubba Chump coming this October.” Ellidy wrote in her pregnancy announcement. “Your Dad and I have been dreaming of you for years little one. With a heart-wrenching plot twist in the middle, I am honoured to finally welcome a piece of the phenomenon that is Chumpy back into this world!”
Race against time for sperm retrieval
The Instagram influencer said in the month following Alex’s death, she’d held onto hope that she’d be pregnant. “We’d been trying for a baby. IVF was on our cards but it wasn’t something I ever imagined I’d be tackling on my own. Bittersweet like none other, I’ve never been more certain or excited about anything in my entire life.”
Ellidy explained to 7 News that the family made the decision to retrieve Alex’s sperm after his death. “Everyone knew we were trying so hard for a baby and had been trying for ages and had started to talk about IVF.
“Luckily the days after – we’re going to talk about sperm retrieval. Up until 36 hours, I think the legislation is in Queensland, you can actually retrieve sperm from a deceased person’s body. We were able to hustle – Chumpy’s parents were in town, everyone was signing court documents, legal documents, and dealing with the coroners and the lawyers and the doctors.”
The expecting mum has shared on her podcast why she waited to announce the pregnancy. “It was really scary for me,” Ellidy said. “I mean, I delayed announcing because a) I wasn’t showing and I didn’t want to look like this crazy widow that was like, ‘I’m pregnant with no bump.’ And people (would) be like, ‘Oh my god this crazy widow thinks she’s pregnant.’
At least I waited until I had a bump, had my 20-week scan, everything was in check and I felt safe to put it all out there.”